The Rich Losing Their Grip On Their Wealth
Not that it’s all that shocking, but it seems the recession is also bringing down the wealthy, and even though they still have some money, they’re nowhere at the prominence they once were, and some of them are living, well, like many of us are.
In the story linked to above, they highlight John McAfee, of McAfee antivirus software fame, who sold his company years ago and was at one point worth $100 million and living large. Now he’s worth around $4 million, and is trying to sell his last property to get money so he can pay bills. This isn’t a guy who went out and spent it all. His collapse was due to the collapse in real estate prices and the stock market.
Then there’s the case of a real estate mogul named Carlos Justo, known the real estate agent to the stars of Miami. At one point, he had helicopters that he used to take prospects around the city looking at properties, and he only dealt in multi-million dollar homes. He sold his real estate business for more than $25 million, started buying valuable properties so he could flip them later on, then the crash hit, and he’s now living in a condo without any furniture, having just declared bankruptcy on more than $12 million. He’s still averaging around $400,000 a year in income, but it’s barely enough to keep his living where he does because, like the rest of us, you get used to a certain income, and it’s hard to recover when you take a hit.
While some people will take pleasure in the wealthy being beat up like everyone else, I’m not one of those people. The thing about many wealthy people is that they create jobs and hire others to work those jobs. Some of those jobs pay well. And, when they’re creating things we like, we’re ready to spend our money on those things, and those services, and whatever else appeals to our sensibilities. Without the wealthy, nothing new gets created, and we all end up bored and jobless.
All the big boys took billion dollar hits last year. Bill Gates of Microsoft fame lost $18 billion last year and still moved back into the number one position as the richest man in the world. Warren Buffet lost $25 billion, and fell to #2. Carlos Slim Helu, Latin America’s richest man, also lost $25 billion. Yes, they’re still wealthy, but losses like that make them decide to hold back on trying new things, hiring, etc.
So, you’re not alone in your money problems, folks; throw a little love to your wealthier, yet still struggling, friends.